Small changes: what happens if you change your relationship to your phone?

A piece in the New York Times at the end of December revealed that we spend 1,460 hours on our phones every year. That’s 91 days…

In that time, you could read the seven volumes and 4,215 pages of Proust’s A La Recherche du Temps Perdu more than 20 times, learn two languages (based on each one taking 700 hours) or circumnavigate the globe by bike.

This statistic, combined with not loading the Facebook and Twitter apps on my new phone yet and a desire to read more books this year, has made me behave slightly differently so far in 2019. For all of those ten-minute gaps that I normally fill with my phone (breakfast, commuting, waiting for someone), I have started to read a book. And, the more I read, the more I realised I was reading. Which means that, for the first time in years, I have read a lot more than one or two books this month. In fact, I’ve completed seven, abandoned three, and am halfway through two more. This has astonished me because the only thing I have changed is how I behave for about 30 minutes a day.

So, if you have a close relationship with your phone, and not all of it is inspiring you, perhaps try doing something else for a few minutes instead? You might end up fluent in another language, fitter or playing the flute. Perhaps those resolutions might not be out of reach after all!